Today, Rebekah from Hargraves Home and Hearth is guest posting for us. She shares some great tips and Bible study tools for digging deeper into God’s Word. Because let’s all be honest, we don’t all have time to sit down with a hot cup of coffee and brand new highlighters and hear God’s word every single day — that’s why these tools can be so helpful! Be sure to go check out Rebekah’s blog after reading this post!
If there is any one practice we desperately need to have in our lives, it is the practice of daily reading God’s Word. We, as wives and mamas, need the comfort, encouragement, and wisdom that are to be found in the Bible. If you throw being a military wife into the mix, well, that can make you all the more desperate for those things! Sadly, however, it is also precisely that very practice of daily being in God’s Word which can be the hardest to regularly implement.
Because I know how daunting the regular task of Bible study can seem to us as busy women, I want to share with you today some of my favorite Bible study tools in the hopes that they will prove helpful to you in your own mission of being in God’s Word daily.
6 Great Bible Study Tools
Many of you are probably familiar with this app already, but in case you aren’t, I wanted to be sure to include it in my list. You can download this app for free and instantly access quite a few versions of the Bible, begin your choice of several different reading plans and topical studies, read daily devotionals and the verse of the day, and even listen to audio versions of the Bible! It’s perfect for the busy woman on the go! They also offer a free YouVersion For Kids app that is full of interactive, animated Bible stories (my daughter loves this one!).
I love, love, love my journaling Bible! While I’m reading through the Word, I appreciate the space journaling Bibles provide me to write out my thoughts and whatever the Lord seems to be teaching me during that day’s reading. It’s so helpful — your notes are all kept in one place, right next to the passage you’re commenting on. You have room for drawing and artistic expression if you so desire, and you will have a treasure trove of memories to look back on when it comes to how the Lord worked in and through you, furthered you down that sanctification process, and grew your knowledge of Him. Journaling Bibles can become quite the family heirloom!
I use Bible Gateway at least once during the process of writing each and every blog post for my blog! It is that helpful. You can search for any topic, keyword, or verse you can think of in your version of preference and up it pops along with related verses, as well. You can also download their free app for instant access and they, too, provide Bible reading plans.
OK, this is one of my absolute favorite tools (though it is a bit hard to say that, because they’re all good)! On Blue Letter Bible, you can access several devotionals, sign up for email devotionals, check out charts and timelines, and much more. But I think my all-time favorite aspect of this site is that you can type in any verse you are curious about in almost any English translation and instantly learn the Hebrew or Greek words used in that passage, as well as the full definitions of those Hebrew or Greek words. You can also see other places in the Bible where those same words are used. It is awesome! No longer do you need to feel like you have to learn Hebrew or Greek in order to know what the original words were — all of that information is now at your fingertips. This has shed so much light on things for me as I’m doing various topical studies.
I personally use and enjoy all of the resources mentioned above, but this, folks, may very well be the crème de la crème. I love this website! It truly offers a wealth of information. On Bible Study Tools, you can read the Word, select one of the many reading plans they offer, and access a whole host of study materials including the entire Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (this is quite a deal!), other Bible commentaries, sermons, concordances, Bible dictionaries, encyclopedias, and more! My husband and I went through their one year chronological reading plan last year and really enjoyed it. It was so informative to read the Word straight through in that manner.
The SOAP Method
Lastly, I enjoy implementing the SOAP method of Bible study. Simply put, the breakdown of this method is as follows:
S: Scripture — On a piece of paper or in a notebook or journal, write out the verse or passage you plan to study that day.
O: Observation — On your paper below the verse or passage you’ve just written, write out your observations of it. What is it saying? What is happening? Who is it speaking to? What is being said? Where is it set? What does it mean? Scribble down anything that comes to you during your study.
A: Application — Next write out how you can apply to your daily life what you just observed from the passage. What instruction was in the passage and how can you live it out? What change(s) do you need to make in your life, according to this passage?
P: Prayer — Your study time ends with you writing out a prayer regarding what the Lord has taught you during your time in His Word that day. It can be tempting to skip this part and instead just utter a quick prayer out loud and move on to the rest of your daily to-dos. However, I would encourage you to take just a few moments to write out your prayers anyway — doing so will provide a great picture to look back on in the future of how the Lord worked in your heart and life, how He changed you, how He answered your prayers and gave you the desires of your heart, etc. These prayers could be a powerful testimony to the next generation!
The important thing to remember is to just relax and enjoy your time in God’s Word. Do not stress over how long you are in the Word each day, how your daily quiet time compares to someone else’s, or how you’re going to fit in all the study you want to do.
You don’t have to implement all — or even any — of the tools I mentioned today. I don’t use every single one on a daily basis myself! Rather, with today’s post, I simply wanted to offer you some help by providing you with knowledge of the Bible study tools that are at your disposal. I hope this proves encouraging to you in your pursuit of Bible study.
Start small. Take it slow. And just enjoy the process. May God bless you as you seek to get to know Him in a deeper way through your time in His Word!
Rebekah Hargraves is a 20-something National Guard wife, mama of two kiddos — 2 and under, home business owner, and blogger residing in Tennessee. Her passion is to bless fellow Christian women through her writings on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, which exists to edify, equip, and encourage women in their every day life on their journey of Biblical womanhood. You can also find Rebekah on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.